Not my words, or Flavour Flav’s or anyone else at Big Cat, but the words of the Express & Star no less, one of the most well read local newspapers in the country. I have to admit, as not a huge fan of the group, I greatly enjoyed the gig and some of the contempory rap and hip hop artists would do well to take a few leaves from the PE book.
See review below by my and friend and yours, Rita Maman:
Simply put, this was my gig of the year. Public Enemy’s (PE) only UK date on their 62nd tour before a packed Space 2.
And to make things even better, their two and-a-half hour show began with It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back played in its entirety, 20 years on from its release.
The 50-year-old Chuck D clearly loves Birmingham and made a dedication to the legendary Hummingbird venue.
Chuck was joined by Flavor Flav, complete with a trademark clock around his neck, S1Ws, DJ Lord and some fantastic guitarists. Remaining members were unable to fly over due to passport issues.
As one guitarist played an incredible solo another followed by paying tribute to his hero Barack Obama and a Brummie hero, Ozzy Osbourne.
The riff to Black Sabbath’s Iron Man shouldn’t have come as a surprise as this is the band that invented rap metal when they recorded Bring The Noise with metallers Anthrax.
The two frontmen rapped the track on the spot before Flavor jokingly asked ”don’t I sound like the record?”
Flavor was as hyperactive as ever, jumping into the crowd twice against Chuck’s advice, getting two fans on stage and holding a touching moment of silence for the victims in Mumbai.
Former English and American leaders were slammed as the crowd was encouraged to keep its British identity and not turn into a ”radio/TV/movie nation” like the US.
Chuck said he hoped that Obama’s reign would mean ”one world, one people”.
Dedications were made to UK hip hop, stars like the Beastie Boys who were the first act to tour with PE, missing bandmates like Terminator X and the ”five elements” – graffiti artists, breakdancers, MCs, rappers and DJs.
Warm-up acts included DMC world champion DJ Switch and Mylz.
The gig ended with Flavor staying on stage to make a heartfelt speech about the stupidity of prejudice as there is ”only one race, the human race”. As he changed back into a big fur coat fans sang along to Bob Marley’s One Love – a perfect ending to an amazing gig.
For information on upcoming gigs at the Custard Factory, please visit www.custardfactory.co.uk/